SRINAGAR – Life remained crippled and situation was very tense on Tuesday in the Kashmir valley, where people are protesting since August 5 against scrapping of Article 370 and 35 A, besides dividing the state into Union Territories.
There was a complete shutdown in the city and at least four people were injured in numerous clashes between protesters and security forces in various parts of Kashmir Valley and in Srinagar, officials said.
Shops and business establishments, which were functioning daily for about three hours in the morning in Srinagar remained closed on Tuesday, as a delegation of European Union (EU) Members of Parliament (MP) began a two day visit to Kashmir.
At many places in the city and other major towns people had put up blockades from early on.
Such was the impact of the strike that vendors, who had been setting up their stalls in various parts of the city over the past several weeks, also did not turn up on Tuesday. However, board examinations for Class 10 were held on schedule with worried parents waiting outside exam halls for their children.
Security forces burst teargas shells and resorted to lathicharge in some areas in the uptown, Srinagar, to disperse slogan shouting and stone pelting demonstrators in the morning.
Clashes between protesters and security forces were reported from Batpora Hazratbal, Saida Kadal, Ilahi Bagh Buchpora, Knaitar, Foreshore Road, Hawal, Rainawari, Dalgate, Haba Kadal, Krale Khud, Rambagh, Natipora, Cahnepora, Baghe Mehtab, Nowgam, and Naik Bagh. Many protestors and government forces were injured, while many vehicles were damaged by the protestors.
Stone pelting incidents were also reported from many areas of Budgam district, including district head quarter Budgam, Chadoora, Chrar-e-Sharif, Sepdan, Aaripanthan and Magam.
The Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs) remained deployed to prevent people from gathering at various key points of the city.
Transport was off the roads on Tuesday and railway too remained suspended. Railway department has been incurring a loss of over Rs 3 lakh daily as train service between Baramulla in north Kashmir to Banihal in Jammu region remained suspended since August 5 for security reasons.
Passenger traffic, including the buses of State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) buses, remained off the roads. Very less number of private vehicles, as compared to previous days, were also seen plying on different routes, particularly in the uptown and civil lines. However, in the down town very few private vehicles were seen plying.
The internet service and pre-paid mobile network of all Cellular companies, including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), remained suspended since August 5, badly affecting professionals, students, doctors and media persons.
A report from Anantnag said that shops and business establishments remained closed in this and other district and tehsil headquarters of south Kashmir. Very less number of private vehicles were seen plying on the roads as passenger traffic remained off the roads. Additional CPMFs remained deployed to prevent any stone pelting on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, passing through south Kashmir districts.
Business and other activities remained crippled since August 5 in this and other north Kashmir districts, a report from Baramulla said. Traffic was off the roads though some vehicles were seen plying on Srinagar-Uri highway. Additional security forces have been deployed on bridges, connecting down town with civil lines in Baramulla and Sopore towns to foil any demonstration.
Similar reports were also received from central Kashmir districts of Ganderbal and Badgam.